Like everyone else I know, I have a million-and-one things I should be doing instead of writing this post right now, but that tiny fleeting voice of inspiration came knocking and tugged on my shirtsleeve. So, while the kids were napping, I did what any self-respecting mom on a ‘nap-break’ with mountains of laundry, tons of research to do, gazillions of emails to respond to, and a disaster of a house to clean…I indulged the urge to sit down with a pen and paper. I gave inspiration an inch…then, as the saying goes…time literally evaporated.
My loved ones all know my passion for lists, but this one’s a little different than the usual to-do or goal-setting lists. The following is a compilation of some of the beliefs I once held to be true…the ones I now whole-heartedly reject.
Maybe you’ll agree with me, but more interestingly, perhaps you’ll disagree. Let me know!
Regardless, I felt compelled to examine, tease-out, and share some of the strongly held beliefs I once had to illustrate that it’s very possible to change one’s mind.
Here is goes…in no particular order:
- Mind-games and posturing are the only road to true love. Vulnerability is for suckers.
- Effective parenting results from manufacturing adversity so that one’s children will toughen-up for the real world. I once heard someone say that they seek to disappoint their children every single day for this reason!
- Perfection is the antidote to criticism-the notion that if one achieves perfection in terms of work performance, grades in school, physically, in our relationships (parents, children, friends, spouses) that we will receive immunity from the pain and hurt that our experiences have the capacity to unleash upon us (*And by-the-way, perfection is not only a total fallacy, but it’s a dangerous and seductive illusion founded in fear.)
- Grief is a finite process with an end date. (*Nope. It’s more like an ocean whose waves are sometimes gentle and lapping, and other times have the immense capacity to pull you right under. Grief is unpredictable. The kindness and bravest thing we can do for others and ourselves is to hold space for grief and sit along those in grief as they navigate its choppy waters.)
- Achieving your goals = happiness
- Beauty is objective.
- Parenting is easy, if you’re doing it right. (Ha! Riggghht…)
- The only way to navigate this world and make it out alive is to construct and dawn a thick coat of armour so strong that neither joy nor pain shall penetrate one’s tender heart.
- Successful, obedient students exemplify successful teaching.
- Being courageous is not for me.
- I am alone in my experiences.
- Asking for help is a sign of weakness.
- Being “good” is the only road to worthiness.
- Admitting to experiencing sadness, anger, loneliness, and jealousy means that there’s something wrong with you.
- The only way to be spiritual is to go to church.
- Creativity lies inherently within the individual. You either are or you aren’t. The genius resides within the artist.
- Everything in life is random.
- We must ask our passions to provide for us, financially.
- Forgiveness is impossible because it means condoning.
- Seeking and acquiring approval from others is the only way to win at life. *In the words of Seth Godin, seeking to please everyone makes you a “walking generality” instead of a “meaningful specific.”
- Everyone deserves a second chance. *No they don’t! Maya Angelou once said, “When somebody shows you who they are, believe them the first time!”
- My worthiness of love and belonging is directly dependent on my ability to earn it. It’s about hustling. *Nope. Nope. Nope! You are born worthy of love and belonging. The minute you start believing that, the more you can get down to the important, purposeful work you were meant to do!
- People’s personalities are fixed.
- I cannot write the ending to my story.
- Achieving and striving toward audacious goals is for other people.